It’s been since June that one of my favourite blogs, the Players’ Aid, has had a post about the monthly GMT Games update.
I’ve missed it (along with all of their other posts).
Life happens, I know. Both Grant and Alexander have been extremely busy and I totally understand that the video channel has to take precedence when you’re crunched for time.
So until Grant or Alexander can get out from under the heaping pile of whatever that they’re dealing with that is preventing blogging, I figured somebody had better take up the mantle of posting about the monthly GMT Games update.
I’m not going to be anywhere near as good as Grant is, though, because for one thing I’m not typically a wargamer (though I am becoming more and more of one recently, check out my P500 list below).
And for another…well, Grant’s awesome.
So this will be a shadow of Grant’s.
But I hope it will suffice in the meantime!
I got your back, Grant.
In case you want to go check it out for yourself (and really, why wouldn’t you?), here’s a link to the full update.
Let’s see what’s coming!
There are three new games on the P500 list as well as two reprints.
They are as follows:
Baltic Empires actually looks really cool.
This is a 2-5 player game about the conflicts in the Baltics from 1559 to 1721.
The really interesting thing about the game is that not only is it a wargame, but it’s also an economic game. Each player is one of the many nation-states in the region during this tumultuous time.
In addition to the constant state of warfare and religious strife, these states need to develop their economies so that they can actually field armies and be able to fight things out.
Not only is it about war, but it’s about trade. You’re going to have to be able to trade (maybe not with other players, but with other nations) to help your economy grow. Because if it doesn’t grow, you’re not going to be able to fight (or you’ll lose really badly, anyway).
The five factions are Denmark-Norway, Sweden, Russia, Poland-Lithuania, and Prussia.
And the factions are asymmetric!
I mean there are Dramatis Personae cards!
Actually, both are true.
All five factions have different strengths and weaknesses so you’ll have to figure out what is your best path toward victory.
And yes, there are Dramatis Personae cards.
The ones they are showing look pretty neat.
And I see the word “loans” on one of the cards!
Where’s Martin Wallace?
This is a game set during the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-89) where players are either the Soviet forces or the Afghan guerillas.
It’s a block wargame (I’m starting to get used to those!) where both sides are facing some similar issues even though the sides are fundamentally different.
In using the Sekigahara system, players have their own deck of cards that they will be playing in order to activate areas for combat or other operations.
Those who are familiar with Sekigahara will have no trouble learning the system, but it’s not just a reskin of the game. Both sides are more asymmetric (there’s that word again!) than the two sides in Sekigahara.
Bear Trap has its own identity, and it sounds really neat.
The final P500 new addition has had a major impact on my wallet.
Not because I ordered this one (though I may very well do so).
No, it made me consider the Last Hundred Yards system.
The After Action Reports from the ladder tournament as well as just reading about it in general, have finally made me decide to give the system a try.
The Last Hundred Yards Volume 3: The Solomon Islands is a standalone version of the game taking place in the Pacific (which is yet another instance of me coming into a system late and getting the sequel rather than the original game). This one is getting ready to be shipped from the printer, which means in a couple of months maybe I will have it! Because I dropped an order for it.
Sadly, the European one (the original) is currently on the P500 list so it may be reprinted at some point (though I did order this one too so it now has one more order!)
Thus, getting the Russian Front one isn’t necessarily going to happen.
But who knows? Maybe by the time this reaches the printer, I will be experienced with the system and the original will also be on its way.
The Last Hundred Yards Volume 4: The Russian Front takes the tactical World War II system to the Russian front. Since I don’t know the system yet, I can’t really comment much more on that, but you know something’s successful when there are four additions to it! Not to mention battle packs.
There are also two new reprint P500 entries: Atlantic Chase – 2nd Printing (a really interesting-sounding naval game about the battle for the Atlantic Ocean from 1939-1942 that a lot of people I respect are raving about) and the 2nd printing of Chariots of Fire, part of the Great Battles of History system. All of these battles take place from 1700 – 1200 BC.
I know nothing about this system, sadly, though I’m sure Grant would!
Or maybe my friend Michal, as he likes all this “ancient” stuff.
Gene always teases some upcoming P500 games and Grant usually knows some of them.
Sadly, that won’t be me.
“A new Bot Project for a COIN-series game”
No idea on this one, though maybe something for Pendragon? (I haven’t heard about that one in a while).
“Exciting new content for you Commands & Colors players”
I’d almost say US Civil War, but that seems a bit too recent for this series. “New content” doesn’t sound like an expansion, but maybe? How about a Samurai Battles expansion?
That would be cool.
“A Napoleonic-themed game from Ted Raicer”
I know many of my wargaming friends love Ted Raicer’s games, but I haven’t played any. I have no idea what this could be. Since the Raicer games I’ve seen have been more broad in scope, I’ll say Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.
“Another new Levy & Campaign series game”
I actually know this one! I think.
I saw it on both Twitter and Justin Fassino’s video about GMT’s Weekend at the Warehouse. SELJUQ: Byzantium Besieged is designed by Fassino and he was demoing it and playtesting it there.
Of course, Volko Ruhnke said on Twitter that this is one of several Levy & Campaign games in the works, but this one seems pretty close to being ready for the P500.
I feel so special that I might actually know this!
“A new operational-level WWII game from Mark Simonitch”
No idea. I love Simonitch’s Caesar: Rome vs Gaul (I own it but it’s still sitting in our US post office box, but I’ve played it a couple of times on VASSAL) but most of his World War II games just seem unplayable to me. They’re big, they can take a while, and I don’t have any opponents who would actually play them.
Not that they don’t look cool, because they do.
I’ll just never be able to play them.
I don’t have any orders that are getting ready to charge and ship, which isn’t bad.
However, with my new order for The Last Hundred Yards: Solomon Islands, I actually have three games that are listed as “At the Printer: Loading to Ship.”
Commands & Colors: Ancients, Red Flag Over Paris, and The Last Hundred Yards: Solomon Islands.
I hope they don’t all charge and ship at once or my wallet’s going to scream!
Grant always ends his GMT updates with an update on his P500 orders and where they are in the system.
I always thought that would be pointless for me because I don’t have that many.
So let’s go through them!
The Last Hundred Yards Volume 3: The Solomon Islands: At the Printer: Loading to Ship
I don’t know if there’s any more I can say about this one, but I’m looking forward to it!
The Last Hundred Yards – 2nd Printing (Orders: 181 – Not There Yet)
The game that started it all. I’m hoping, since this is a reprint, that this will head to the printer without having to hit 500 orders.
Skies Above the Reich – 2nd Printing (Orders: 305 – At the Printer)
Recent readers of this blog know that I love Storm Above the Reich, so I had to order the original game. While it’s only at 305 orders, it’s already at the printer because it’s a reprint.
And doing this post made me discover that I actually ordered it twice!
That’s now been rectified.
Skies Above Britain (Orders: 880 – Made the Cut)
Again, loving Storm, I had to order this one too. The concept sounds really cool and you are actually British fighters trying to hold off the Germans so it won’t feel so icky as well.
Not only that, but the system is changed a little bit as it’s not just German fighters going up to try to fend off bombers. Instead, it’s the Battle of Britain, where wave after wave of German bombers came in and British pilots became exhausted trying to fend them off.
It sounds like a really neat tweak to the system.
Commands & Colors: Ancients – 7th Printing – At the Printer: Loading to Ship
Already mentioned this, but I’m stoked to finally be playing this! I will be playing some scenarios with Michal during my lunch breaks and it will be so nice.
But…stickers!!! Lots of them!
The Bell of Treason: 1938 Munic Crisis in Czechoslovakia (Orders: 295 – Not There Yet)
This is another in the series of lunchtime 2-player card-driven games similar to Fort Sumter and its ilk.
Let’s blurb it (see? I haven’t used it as a verb in a few weeks now!)
“During the crisis period of 1938, Czechoslovakia underwent an internal moral struggle about whether or not to stand and fight against Nazi Germany, the consequences of which Czech and Slovak society have probably never fully come to terms with. The decision to concede the Sudetenland to Germany was a difficult one, and the merits of both sides of the argument are clear: pragmatically, there was little hope that Czechoslovakia could have survived a German invasion in 1938, but its spirit was still strong, and a decision to fight could have sent a clear message to the rest of Europe and altered the course of history. How did Czechoslovakia, with a proud, professional military and seemingly strong alliances with France and the Soviet Union, end up making this fateful decision to concede in 1938? The Bell of Treason allows you to relive the events in Czechoslovakia that led up to this decision and potentially change the course of history.”
This game looks amazing and I hope it does eventually make the cut.
Maybe I’m going to have to do a blog post about it separately (Editor – Because we all know your posts are what puts these games over the edge).
I ordered this one as soon as I heard about it. A game that can be played at lunch and it’s about such an interesting topic?
My co-worker will love it! (Sorry, Vicki)
Charioteer (Orders: 685 – Made the Cut)
For some reason I’m kind of surprised this one has made the cut already.
I guess there are some Circus Maximus fans out there! (I actually had that game back in the day).
Charioteer is designed by Sekigahara designer Matt Calkins and takes place in the Circus Maximus of Rome.
Players control a chariot in the races and each one has an asymmetric ability (I love that word) and they can improve their ability during the race.
It has some interesting-sounding card play mechanics which I think will add to the uniqueness of the game.
The fact that it plays in an hour will really help too.
A Gest of Robin Hood (Orders: 936 – Made the Cut)
As soon as I heard about this one, I had to join one of the many people ordering this.
It’s the second game in the “Irregular Conflicts” series and it just sounds amazing.
It’s a 2-player game designed by Fred Serval that will play in one hour (which is the reason I didn’t back the first game in the series, because it isn’t that short). Players are either Robin Hood or the Sheriff of Nottingham. The game is also a low-complexity game (another reason I wanted it) so it’s kind of an introduction to the whole concept.
I was in love after hearing all of that.
Combat Commander: Europe (Orders: 98 – Not There Yet)
I’m hoping the GMT “reprints are different and don’t have to reach 500 to go into production” policy also applies to this one, as I’m not sure how high the pre-orders will actually go.
I love the system, I have Combat Commander: Pacific, and I’ve been enjoying my plays of the Europe game (and now Pacific) with Michal.
Let’s hope this gets into production soon!
Combat Commander: Resistance – 2nd Printing (Orders: 334 – Not There Yet)
One of the Europe expansions with some cool-looking new rules and concepts.
Again, I hope this one gets into the system even without hitting the 500 level.
Combat Commander: Mediterranean – 3rd Printing (Orders: 305 – Not There Yet)
Another Europe expansion. I can say the same thing.
CDG Solo System (Orders: 2160 – Made the Cut)
A solo system for a number of GMT games, including one that I own (and soon two, with C&C Ancients), this is a nice way to play these games solo when you just don’t have the players to play them on the table.
I’m looking forward to this one, and hopefully for more games as well!
In the Shadows (Orders: 597 – Made the Cut)
This is another 2-player card-driven game that’s intended to be quick.
The game is about the French Resistance in World War II, so one side is the Occupation trying to squelch the Resistance while the other player is the Resistance forces trying to increase chaos and reduce the Occupation’s authority.
Quick? 2-player? Card-driven game?
You had me at Quick.
Twilight Struggle: Red Sea – Conflict in the Horn of Africa (In Final Art)
Another quick 2-player card-driven game!
I love Twilight Struggle, so a smaller, quicker version that has more focus on one region of the world is right up my alley.
Vicki is going to hate me when all of these games start coming in…
Red Flag Over Paris (At the Printer: Loading to Ship)
I already talked about this one above, but really? Another quick-playing 2-player CDG?
I really should apologize to Vicki.
I first heard about the Paris Commune in 1871 on Mike Duncan’s “Revolutions” podcast, and that made me want this game all the more when it was announced.
The Barracks Emperors (Nearing Art Department Readiness)
A card game in the Time of Crisis time period from the same designers?
That’s one of my favourite games!
I’ve been interested in this one since it’s been announced and I even wrote about it when it was having trouble making the cut.
The fact that it’s in the production process right now warms my heart.
Thunder Alley Crew Chief – 2nd Printing (Nearing Art Department Readiness)
I got Thunder Alley in a math trade and I had enjoyed my one VASSAL play. But I hadn’t been able to get the game to the table, until I played a scheduled game of it at Dragonflight in 2019.
I really enjoyed it and, even though I haven’t had a chance to play it again, I still wanted this expansion.
Since it’s a reprint, it’s in production even though it’s nowhere near 500 orders, which is nice!
(It’s at 195 currently)
You can’t say no to new cards!
Looking forward to this one.
Ancient Civilizations of the Middle East (In the Art Department)
I played an epoch at a convention of the first game in this series, Ancient Civilizations of the Inner Sea and really enjoyed it.
It has a bit too much “take that” for most of my game group, but I’m hoping that this edition will still go over ok. Hell, half of the fun is seeing what you can do to the other players!
This may be a game that I buy but never get played.
But it’s on my P500 list anyway and I’m proud of that!
(That being said, given my game group’s proclivities, this one may get cancelled before it ships. We’ll see).
How can you go wrong trying to have a bunch of different civilizations face off against each other, like the Babylonians and the Sumerians. This game also adds terrain bonuses and deities (instead of building wonders).
This looks really cool and we’ll see whether I can get it to the table.
Mystery Wizard (Nearing Art Department Readiness)
This one is an odd duck, and I have to say that I pre-ordered it out of curiosity when they were trying to get a push going to get it over the 500 order limit.
It’s at 601 orders now and is soon going to be in the Art Department.
I’m still intrigued.
This is a very non-GMT-like game, at least from the way it sounds.
In fact, I have to say that it was Dan Thurot’s review of it that put me over the edge.
This is a game for 2-6 players, takes about an hour to play (bonus!) and is about wizards vying for supremacy on an island. Each wizard has asymmetric abilities (you had me at hour to play…I mean asymmetric!) and they are trying to loot the tower in the middle of the board and bring home at least two Mysteries from it back to your village.
The gameplay just sounded really intriguing. I encourage you to check out Dan’s review to see just what pushed me over the edge to backing this.
Rebel Fury: Five Battles from the Campaigns of Chancellorsville and Chickamauga (Nearing Art Department Readiness)
When I started backing wargames, especially those from GMT, this is one of the first I did, mainly because of the advertised play time.
Again, it’s an hour, which fits perfectly with my work lunch and co-worker (2-player games just generally don’t get played at my game group because we usually have enough people for 3 or 4 player games). I saw the play time, I saw the subject, and I said “hey, why not?”
I will really need to apologize to Vicki.
I have to admit it sounds a bit intimidating since I haven’t played many wargames recently (except Combat Commander now, of course).
But it sounds neat, I used to like Civil War games, and it plays quickly.
What’s not to like?
Flashpoint: South China Sea (Going to the Printer in November)
Another card-driven game and a lunchtime game? Hell yeah!
I was pleased to see Harold Buchanan’s quick-playing game about tensions in the South China Sea between China and the US made the cut of 500 orders. I was pushing it hard!
It sounds really intriguing too.
I love the blurb:
“The Chinese player works to influence other countries in the region, establish territorial claims and regional hegemony, and improve its world standing. The U.S. player works to maintain influence with allied countries in the region, secure freedom of navigation, and keep China in check. Success for both players hinges on the support and allegiance of non-player countries in the region. The game stops short of dealing with a potential full-scale military conflict. Rather, it requires the nuanced exercise of political, economic, and military resources, in a form of prima facie diplomacy – on the waters, in the air, and ultimately in the minds of the people – to achieve victory.”
Yes, I’m very happy that this is getting closer to being in my hands.
Wow, that was a lot of games.
Grant, I don’t know how you did this every month.
But I will try to persevere!
As long as Grant and Alexander are too busy for this (life definitely happens, as I well know), I’ll try to keep this up.
We’re at over 3000 words!!
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed reading and don’t hold it against me that I’m not as much of a grognard as Grant.
We can’t all be as cool as him.